A documented case of false prophecy: Four years later, ‘Letter from 2012’ makes Focus on the Family look ridiculous

Before the 2008 election, the religious right was predicting doom, gloom and the end of the world if Barack Obama were to win.

One of the most colorful and intense denunciations of Obama came from Focus on the Family, which produced a 16-page “Letter From 2012 in Obama’s America.” I had forgotten all about that dire “letter from the future.”

In 2008, Focus on the Family listed 34 predictions of what would happen if Barack Obama became president. They were wrong about all 34 of them.

Unfortunately for Focus, Libby Anne did not forget about it. Since this fictional “letter” was dated October 2012 — which is now — she dug out a copy to see how it’s many predictions have held up. The result is a devastating post titled “This is the most important election of all time! (again)

Focus on the Family made 34 specific, detailed predictions about what would happen in “Obama’s America.” They came up 0-for-34.

Well, let’s be generous — we’ll give them half credit for prediction No. 10. That one correctly foresaw the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” — but then also incorrectly predicted a host of disastrous consequences of that repeal. Obama did repeal DADT, but Christians have not been expelled from the military and the Pentagon isn’t paying “special bonuses” to LGBT recruits. But still, that one comes closer than the other 33 predictions, which are all utterly wrong, so let’s cut Focus some slack and say they’re 0.5-for-34.

The Boy Scouts and private Christian schools were not forced to disband by the Supreme Court; adoption agencies remain in business; religious broadcasters still broadcast; churches are not being compelled to host gay weddings or to hire lesbian clergy; Christian tribal gatherings are still permitted “at the pole” in public high schools; the Pledge of Allegiance and private gun ownership have not been outlawed.

Libby Anne’s post is long because it is impressively thorough and methodical. Here is what Focus on the Family said would happen. Here is what actually did happen instead. Over and over and over. Focus on the Family was wrong. Focus on the Family was wrong. Focus on the Family was wrong. … Thirty-four times over. Treat yourself to reading the whole thing.

Re-reading the Focus letter four years later, what strikes me most — besides how utterly wrong they are about everything — is how parochial their imagination is when attempting to envision a political dystopia. The horrors they predict are almost all narrowly targeted at and tailored toward them. I’ve read a ton of dystopian stories, good and bad, and this is the most cluelessly self-absorbed vision of its kind that I’ve ever seen.

Maybe my favorite part of the letter (here’s a .pdf version) is prediction No. 18: “Pornographic magazines are openly displayed in gas stations, grocery stores and on newsstands.” I can’t figure out which is more laughably wrong — that this is what they imagine is the real secret agenda of President Obama and his party, or that anyone in 2008 was looking ahead to 2012 and predicting boom times for print media.

 

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  • JustoneK

    I’m very, very tired of people claiming these exact things have already happened in murica.

  • Persia

    To be fair, I have seen pornographic magazines at gas stations.

    Of course, I also saw them in 1994, when my then-husband worked at one.

  • Tricksterson

    Who to the what now?

  • JustoneK

    I hate disqus lack of threading.  I have no idea what this is responding to.

  • Lori

    At the bottom of Tricksterson’s post, where it says “in reply to JustoneK” click on it and it will show you which of your comments Tricksterson was replying to.

  • JustoneK

    I’ve been doing that!  It doesn’t always seem to take.

  • Lori

     That’s so weird, because the link works for me (the track back is to your first comment in this thread). Have you ticked off the disqus gods? Perhaps you should consider a small sacrifice or something.

  • Lunch Meat

    FotF was very careful to hedge their bets and make it clear they weren’t actually “prophesying”:

    This letter is not “predicting” that all of the imaginative future “events” named in this letter will happen.

    Still, 0 for 34 is pretty bad, especially after saying this:

    The entire letter is written as a “What if?” exercise, but that does not make it empty speculation, because every future “event” described here is based on established legal and political trends that can be abundantly documented and that only need a “tipping point” such as the election of Senator Obama and a Democratic House and Senate to begin to put them into place. […] But it is saying that each one of these changes could happen and also that each change would be the natural outcome of (a) published legal opinions by liberal judges, (b) trends seen in states with liberal-dominated courts such as California and Massachusetts, (c) recent promises, practices and legislative initiatives of the current liberal leadership of the Democratic Party and (d) Senator Obama’s actions, voting record and public promises to the far-Left groups that won the nomination for him.

  • Tricksterson

    They really shot themselves (add preferred body part here) by making the predictions so specific.  Usually things like this go along the lines of ” If (opposing politician) is elected” or “I Propsotion Whatever is/isn’t passed” (vague to the point of meaninglessness yet somehow still ominous prediction) will happen”  By being so specific they pretty much painted a taget on their backs.

  • http://www.facebook.com/j.alex.harman John Alexander Harman

    I suspect that in the alternate universe where the members and supporters of Focus on the Fantasy like to pretend they live, Israel’s policy of deliberate ambiguity regarding its nuclear weapons means that Israel doesn’t have nuclear weapons.

    It will be fun, four years from now, to look back and see how spectacularly the predictions in the Dinesh D’Shonest (or is Dinesh D’Stupid?) dreckumentary currently disfiguring movie screens around the country failed to materialize.

  • Lori

     

    It will be fun, four years from now, to look back and see how
    spectacularly the predictions in the Dinesh D’Shonest (or is Dinesh
    D’Stupid?) dreckumentary currently disfiguring movie screens around the
    country failed to materialize.  

    This was the first thing I thought of. I think we should all make a date to review Dinesh’s “masterwork” right before the 2016 election. That will give us time to figure out a good drinking game for it. Obviously we can’t do the simple “take a drink every time he’s wrong” because we’d all be dead of alcohol poisoning before it was half over, so we’ll have to be a bit more creative.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    I seriously need to excerpt sections of Linda McQuaig’s book “All You Can Eat”. She has a whole chapter devoted to the mendacities of Dinesh D’Souza.

  • Lori

    D’Souza is truly terrible. A person could make a nearly full time job out of documenting just how terrible he is. It would requite a cast iron stomach and a large supply of alcohol and/or drugs.

    Did I mention that my parents, my sister and my BIL drove almost an hour to watch his “documentary”? They did. I think I still have a mark on my forehead from banging my head against the wall.

  • Launcifer

    Have to say – and at the risk of making light of the very serious things people have been sharing in this thread – I read that last one and immediately thought, “Ah, so that’s how all the poor souls are going to get the Mark of the Beast: from all the headdesking”.

  • Lori

    “Ah, so that’s how all the poor souls are going to get the Mark of the Beast: from all the headdesking”.  

    LOL

  • fraser

     His declaration that conservatives can make common-cause with Islam by showing we too hate slutty women, abortion, contraception and sex in the movies (which are All Liberal Faults) does show how totally incoherent modern conservatism gets: Muslims are evil incarnate, except they also have such great morals.

  • The Lodger

    Muslims – the Mecca Synod of the Church of Shut Up and Do What You’re Told.

  • The Lodger

    Referring to the RTC notion of Muslims who are Good Because They’re Against all the Tolerant Liberal Stuff that RTCs are Against. Those Muslims.

  • http://www.facebook.com/j.alex.harman John Alexander Harman

    His declaration that conservatives can make common-cause with Islam by showing we too hate slutty women, abortion, contraception and sex in the movies (which are All Liberal Faults) does show how totally incoherent modern conservatism gets: Muslims are evil incarnate, except they also have such great morals.

    Don’t forget teh ghey — Muslim countries’ persecution of GLBT people turns our Dominionists green with envy. I remember a review of one of D’Slander’s books, The Enemy At Home: The Cultural Left and Its Responsibility for 9/11, that summarized the theme of the book as, “Yes, the Muslims do hate our freedom — almost as much as I do!”

  • http://kingdomofsharks.com/ D Johnston

     That’s the trick with D’Souza. What he has is not a nice, neat list of claims that can be debunked, it’s more like a big, indistinct smear. His major claim is that Obama is going to give all our money to South America and Africa, which is about the silliest claim made by anyone not named Mark Steyn.

    The only drinking “game” you could play with 2016 is to get nice and toasty before you start watching.

  • http://www.facebook.com/j.alex.harman John Alexander Harman

    The trouble is that, to design the drinking game, someone will have to watch Dinesh D’Stortion’s cinematic clusterfrack.  I decline to contribute one red cent to his bottom line, but I suppose I could look for an opportunity to pirate it on-line.

  • Lunch Meat

    What confuses me is the fact that all of my conservative friends keep telling me I need to watch it so that I won’t be deceived…but none of them are willing to tell me one single fact they learned from it so that I can decide whether it’s worth seeing. No one pays for the opportunity to be converted, so why do they think I’ll watch it based on nothing more than the assertion that “it will change my mind”?

  • EllieMurasaki

    Obvious answer: everything it said is something they knew, or thought they knew, going in. That’s telling.

  • The Lodger

    A friend is Indian-born (now an American citizen) with a Portuguese surname. In his case, a lot of people from his village took the last name of the Portuguese Catholic priest who baptized them. This was a while after Goa ceased to be a colony.

    I always assumed D’Souza had a similar story.

  • http://www.facebook.com/j.alex.harman John Alexander Harman

    It couldn’t have been too long a while after; Goa was one of the last parts of India to be decolonized.  The Portuguese only ceded it to the modern nation of India in 1961.

  • Matri

    Obviously we can’t do the simple “take a drink every time he’s wrong”
    because we’d all be dead of alcohol poisoning before it was half over,
    so we’ll have to be a bit more creative.

    We’d be dead before the end of the first paragraph.

  • Tricksterson

    So what are D’Souza’s predictions?

  • http://kingdomofsharks.com/ D Johnston

    That Obama is going to give all our money to poor countries.

    Seriously, that’s it. An indistinct smear, just like everything else he’s ever written.

  • hidden_urchin

    Wow.  In my first year of HS (a year before 9/11) I wrote a fictional short story set ten years into the future.  In it I described a world in which gas was approaching 4.50 a gallon, there had been a major terrorist attack in the US which lead to an increased curtailing of American rights in favor of the appearance of safety, there had been a major economic collapse, and in which the US was involved in a stagnant ground war in the Middle East.

    Maybe I should start accepting donations as a prophet since my record is better than theirs.  All I have to say is that it comes from God, right?

    OK, I was a bit off about the gas.  Cancel the donations!

  • http://accidental-historian.typepad.com/ Geds

     Wow.  In my first year of HS (a year before 9/11) I wrote a fictional
    short story set ten years into the future.  In it I described a world in
    which gas was approaching 4.50 a gallon, there had been a major
    terrorist attack in the US which lead to an increased curtailing of
    American rights in favor of the appearance of safety, there had been
    a major economic collapse, and in which the US was involved in a
    stagnant ground war in the Middle East.

    Funny how living in the real world and paying attention to said real world allows someone to make predictions that make sense in the real world, innit?

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    is it posted or published anywhere?

  • Mentalpig2012

     In my college days in the 1980s, I wrote that the Republican Party would nominate a Muslim to be president in 2012. So we’ve only come partly that way.

  • EllieMurasaki

    ‘Muslim’ and ‘Mormon’ both have two Ms, which does put you nearer the mark than Focus on the Family.

  • http://politicsproseotherthings.blogspot.com/ Nathaniel

    Hey, its not like Christians are famous for predicting specific calamities such as the End of Days and then keep on trucking with another prediction when the first one fails.

     

  • Dan Audy

    Interestingly, it seems that groups tend to get more extreme after their end of days prophecies fail rather than getting weaker or disbanding.  The primary theory is that the moderate ‘edge’ members who previously were keeping the consensus more reasonable leave and thus the remaining members are the most extreme moving the internal consensus towards their view.  As the group shrinks the concentration of crazy goes up which I think goes a long way towards explaining the path of the Republican party when ‘socialist’ Obama would have been a good fit with the policies and goals of the Republican Party 25 years ago (other than the whole black thing).

    http://lesswrong.com/lw/lr/evaporative_cooling_of_group_beliefs/

  • GDwarf

     

    Interestingly, it seems that groups tend to get more extreme after their
    end of days prophecies fail rather than getting weaker or disbanding.
     The primary theory is that the moderate ‘edge’ members who previously
    were keeping the consensus more reasonable leave and thus the remaining
    members are the most extreme moving the internal consensus towards their
    view.

    Perhaps. There’s also cognitive dissonance to take into account, though.

    When such a prediction fails, one is faced with two choices: One can admit one was wrong, or one can rationalize the failure and keep believing. If you admit you’re wrong, then that means you made a pretty serious error (especially if you, say, sold all your possessions) and most people’s subconscious hates accepting such a thing. If, on the other hand, you can rationalize the failure, then your mistake is much smaller and you’ll be right in the end.

    That ends up meaning that, for some believers at least, rationalization is significantly less emotionally difficult to do. However, every time you rationalize away a failure you invest more into the belief system (If you decide it’s wrong now then you were wrong not just about the first prediction, but also to rationalize it away) and so the cost of admitting the truth keeps on increasing. Since you were unable to pay the cost the first time, it’s very unlikely you will in the future, either. So you keep investing more and more in the belief.

    On the other hand, after a big failure those outside of the belief are much less likely to become believers, and any of the believers who are reasonably likely to leave have done so, so you get an ever-ascending helix of reinforcement, with every failure increasing the fervour one believes with.

  • Fusina

    Well, that solved one mystery, where my Mom was getting her facts from.  Note, as of Sunday morning, I am not speaking to her, after a disastrous phone call. She is a close minded bigot who thinks she is open minded and nice. Course, homosexual people are going straight to hell, but her own self with her various collections is just fine, because after all, gluttony is not nearly as bad as “that other thing”. Anyway, it isn’t gluttony, she gives bits of her collections away…

  • JustoneK

    silly, gluttony only counts for food, and/or for visibly “obese” folks.

  • Fusina

    JustoneK “silly, gluttony only counts for food, and/or for visibly “obese” folks.”

     She is. Fat I mean. But so am I. I am just trying to get her to admit to being just as “bad/sinful/flawed” as everyone else on this planet. But she thinks she is one of the “good guys”. I guess I look at my size as being just who and what I am–a lover of food in all its infinite variety and yumminess. And it is no more a sin than being homosexual is. We are who and what we are. No shame or abuse allowed.

    She cited an incident where a photo studio (Elane Photography in Albuequerque NM) was sued for refusing to take photos for two lesbians who were getting married, as an incident where gays were forcing poor defenseless christians to do things against their religion. Um. I looked it up. I’d like to see whether they take photos at the weddings of neo-Nazis, or Jews, or Muslims, or anything else that is specifically not christians. If so, then it is not their specific religion they are using, but personal bias, which would seem to be wrong. Course, I could be biased too. Anyone else have anything to say on this? I would love some other opinions on this.

  • Jim Roberts

    The actual problem with the case is that the photographer and the client had a signed contract with an agreed upon rate and when the photographer found out that it was a gay marriage, backed out of the contract.

    Under NM law, it technically didn’t count as a binding contract for various reasons (from the lawyer-friend I spoke to, a signed contract for non-material services is non-binding if the services haven’t been performed yet), but made good grounds for a discrimination case.

    In other words, those good Christian photographers did not let their yes be yes and their no be no.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Gus-Hinrich/100000151807749 Gus Hinrich

     As a photographer myself, the time to back out of a job is at the beginning, before a contract is signed. Of course, there should be provisos for emergencies,   etc. In that case, I’d try to get another photographer to do it. You don’t want to get a rep as unreliable, after all.

  • JustoneK

    I’m a fatty too, but working on the self-hatred bit.  And with weirdly similar issues with my own mother, who’s generally reasonable but has contracted major foxnews geezer syndrome.
    I think, so far, my mom sees herself and me as the Good Ones, instead of seeing all of us as…Regular Ones.

    I apologize if I sounded extra fat-hating.  It’s personal self-loathing that tends to ooze out at other folks.

  • Lori

     

    And with weirdly similar issues with my own mother, who’s generally reasonable but has contracted major foxnews geezer syndrome.
    I think, so far, my mom sees herself and me as the Good Ones, instead of seeing all of us as…Regular Ones.  

    I feel your pain. I still haven’t had the intestinal fortitude to ask my parents if they realize that when Romney made is now infamous “47%” remarks he was talking about everyone who lives in our house. I somehow suspect that they don’t.

  • JustoneK

    I told my mother about the 47% remarks.  She’d heard.  And she agreed with Romney.

    I don’t know yet if she realizes he was talking about both of us.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

     

    I don’t know yet if she realizes he was talking about both of us.

    Yeah.

    My mom won’t talk to me about single-payer health care ever since I said “Yes, I endorse your grandchildren getting the same level of taxpayer-funded health care that you get, because I think your grandchildren’s health is just as much a public priority as yours. If you disagree, I suggest you not say so to their parents.”

  • Fusina

     Oh, no, you didn’t sound hating. And I hate the extra weight I carry, but between antidepressants and fibromyalgia, I can’t seem to lose any–and believe me, I’ve tried. Before AntiD, I was around a size 12 and could maintain it. Post them, I just keep on putting on weight–tried the variant of antiD that didn’t cause weight gain and got the most amazing collection of welts on my shins. Not trying that again. So it is either accept myself as I am, or be constantly irritated. Besides, my teenage daughter thinks I am gorgeous–she told me so once when I was bemoaning my weight.

  • JustoneK

    Argh, shin welts.  Awww, sweet daughter.  :)

  • AnonymousSam

    According to a study I read awhile back, when people try to diet by reducing their calorie intake, their bodies start undergoing the exact same processes as though they were starving. Dieting can actually be worse on your body than just making sure you exercise regularly with or without “extra” weight — oftentimes, dieting slows “unnecessary” metabolic processes, making it less efficient at processing waste.

    This might be a good read. Fist-pumping material.

  • Fusina

     I never dieted per se, mostly just really, really made sure that I was truly hungry before I ate. That was why I didn’t get below size 12. When I was really stressed out and therefore not eating due to stomach distress, I usually was a size eight hipbone, size ten ribcage. But I also was not anorexic–I might have been, only learning the manipulation of a belt wielding Mom gave me control of the situation, in a way. I decided when I’d had enough spanking, not her.

  • Fusina

    I can especially attest to the “thin people have a damned hard time
    getting fat” bit. I’ve been “underweight” my entire life (to the point
    of potentially having heart trouble if I somehow managed to lose weight)
    and nothing I do changes that, no matter what I eat.

    Yeah. I have a daughter who is currently 6 pounds underweight. And the doc looks at me, looks at her, and wants to know if she eats enough. THE KID EATS MORE THAN I DO! Yeah, you heard that right. She is built exactly like her father–he weighed 145 lbs on our wedding day and he currently weighs 155, almost twenty years later. He is 6’1″, so you can picture him. Just think Jack Sprat and his wife.

    My daughter’s size actually caused yet another irritation with my Mum. She has been overweight most of my life. When I was a skinny teenager, she used to hate going shopping for clothes for us, as it bugged her that we could get clothes off the rack and they fit, and she could not. I was out shopping for clothes with my daughter, and mostly how I felt was, “Ooooh, I have to get her this, she looks so cute in it,” which led to her getting a lot of cute outfits and left me wondering how my Mom got so self-centered. 

  • AnonymousSam

    I believe it. I try to eat foods with a modicum of nutritional value, but I do it for the vitamins, not for the caloric value. It doesn’t matter what I eat or how often, it just gets cycled out of my body. I’ve eaten KFC’s Double Down and half a Bloomin’ Onion and never gained an ounce to show for it. Hate to see what they did to my heart, though. :p

    Your husband and I could be siblings separated at birth. Cut out a few inches and decrease weight proportionally and you’d have me, 5’9 and 130 at the  point of my life when my mother always said my metabolism should be coming to a crashing halt. It… doesn’t seem to be happening.

  • OriginalExtraCrispy

    The one thing I see in a lot of naturally thin people is that because they don’t gain weight, they also don’t exercise. (I’m not saying that’s you, of course; I don’t know you). But a lot of my friends who are physically thinner are in far worse shape than I am. They don’t associate the need to exercise with health, because they’re still thinking healthy = thin. 

    (I really should’ve picked a different user name).

  • AnonymousSam

    *Nods* Weight and muscular development shouldn’t be conflated. Too many examples of people all over the X/Y axes.

  • The_L1985

    I’ve found that just altering my protein/carb ratio and eating more vegetables keeps my weight stable better than anything else.  Sure, the overall number of calories turns out to be lower, but that’s a by-product of healthy eating, not the goal.

  • P J Evans

     I need to go back to eating that way. (Carbs do nasty things to my serum lipid levels.)

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    I can especially attest to the “thin people have a damned hard time getting fat” bit.

    You can have all mine, then. :P

  • AnonymousSam

    I’d probably take it. Where I grew up, being excessively thin was just as bad as being overweight. If the two are equal, I’d rather have the one that lets me keep warm without needing two layers of clothing in the spring and autumn.

  • Unity_walker

    Not so, JustoneK. As a writer and word-crafter, I can tell you that gluttony can apply to any over the top appetite for anything, including sex or electronic gadgets…though most people think it can apply only to overeating. And furthermore, “visibly obese folks” are not “gluttony”–and are not necessarily gluttons, either. JUDGE NOT.

  • JustoneK

    that was…kinda my original point.  that those labeled obese are not generally gluttons.

  • Fusina

     Yeah, we both know _that_.    ;-)   I was referring to my Mom’s collections of dolls and quilting fabric. Course, I can’t really point a finger at her, seeing as I have some gluttonous collections of my own. My point, initially, was that gluttony is mentioned in at least one of the verses that also discusses homosexuality, and that if one was not condemned, neither should the other be. My Mom does not take this concept well, and yes, she does watch Fox News. She really liked Glenn Beck–and it was in pointing out his “errors” in logic (aka lies) that I ended up kicking my brother out of my life–he didn’t take that well.

    I would like to take this time to thank all the people here who have not been mean to me as I worked out some of the stress I’ve been under this week. I posted some stuff I needed to get out of my head, and you all made me feel like I was okay. So Thanks.

  • Tricksterson

    Not a problem.

  • Consumer Unit 5012

     Wouldn’t collecting be avarice, or is that just for money?

  • http://kingdomofsharks.com/ D Johnston

     As memory serves, gluttony refers to excessive indulgence in earthly pleasures, while avarice refers to hoarding wealth or using wealth in a way that harms others.

  • Unity_walker

    It can also be “gluttony” in the wide sense of the word.

  • Unity_walker

    Just as “avarice” can apply also to food….

  • Madhabmatics

     I had a heart to heart with my mother one day, she was in tears, frantic. I asked her what’s wrong and she wouldn’t tell me. Finally, after wheedling her a bit, she shouted: “You won’t believe that Obama is going to kill all the Christians! It’s so clear, and you are in denial, and continuously support someone who is going to have your relatives killed if he wins the election.”

    I KNOW she isn’t learning that in her church, because I know her pastor and her pastor preaches against such spirit of fear talk.

  • http://www.facebook.com/cphlewis Chloe P. H. Lewis

     Gosh, Madhabmatics, how frightening and painful. Would sitting down with her and her pastor be helpful?

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

    I “liked” this reluctantly, because of course I don’t like it at all.

    There are days when I can’t remember why I endorse democracy.

  • http://www.livingmartyrs.com/ brad

     Well Dave console yourself with this: if it weren’t for democracy this could be the attitude ruling the country with impunity.

  • AnonymousSam

    How does she reconcile these beliefs of impending Christian persecution with Obama being Christian himself, and saying so without mincing words?

  • Madhabmatics

     She believes he is really a Muslim.

    It really kills me to see it, especially considering her religious history. Before she went to this Assembly of God church, she was part of a pentecostal Church that literally put out advertisements saying that they wanted gay people to come, did all kinds of social justice work, and all that. She agreed with him when he told anti-gay people to attend a different church if they weren’t down with it.

    Now there is a ~gay agenda~ that is trying to ban straight marriages and oh my god, did you know they made fun of chick fila? Did you know that they are in on the death camps they are building for Christians, too?

    It is terrifying to me that she is going from getting her religious teaching from people who actually engage in it to getting it from editorials that would barely make it in a college newspaper.

    And yeah, she’s definitely been beck’d. That’s how she gets her news. Chloe asked if sitting down with her and her pastor would help, but the problem is that it has already been addressed: It’s been the line since 2010 that if a Christian talks about social or economic justice, then they are really atheists and communists, so having her pastor talk to her about it would just make her leave for a different church. Her pastor knows this and is trying to steer her straight, but can’t outway the influence of the news she reads every day.

  • AnonymousSam

    Wait… didn’t you say you follow Islam? Or am I confusing you for someone else?

    And yeah… Beck is ‘amazing’ that way. I haven’t spoken to my parents in weeks now. I think the last conversation put too much straw on their delicate-sensibilities-donkey’s back.

  • Madhabmatics

    Yeah, I’m Muslim but my mother is Christian.

  • AnonymousSam

    *Winces* I can’t imagine that makes matters between you any easier.

    There are days I hate people for propagating this kind of insanity…

  • Matri

    Yeah, I’m Muslim but my mother is Christian.

    I’d like to ask for your forgiveness for this post which will be pretty much asshole-ish, but I think it needs to be done:

    If your mother knows that you’re a Muslim, then that’s your starting point. Tell her that since she believes Obama is a secret Muslim and that he’s going to do all those things, then that would mean that she believes YOU would also do all those things.

    I know this can backfire, but she needs to realize how narrow her views are.

  • ohiolibrarian

    Maybe she needs an intervention? No, really. If her media habit is making her fearful and unhappy, creating conflict with family (you at least), and increasingly making it difficult for her to function in the real world … how is that different from any other addiction?

  • SisterCoyote

     I’m so sorry you’re going through this with your mother. It’s infuriating, that the fringe wingnuts on Fox have gotten so good at sucking people in, teaching good people to fear, then hate.

  • Tricksterson

    Aren’t yu a Muslim yourself?  If I’m not confusing you with someone else that must be a nasty bone of contention itself.

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    And yeah, she’s definitely been beck’d. That’s how she gets her news.  — Madhabmatics

    Could be worse.  I used to know a guy who I’m pretty sure used Glenn Beck as his financial planner.  Had to field LOTSA phone calls of “GOLD! GOLD! GOLD! GUNS! GOLD! GOLD! GOLD! GAWD! GOLD! GOLD! GOLD! GOLD!” 

    And (more akin to John Todd than Glenn Beck) Total Global Economic Collapse, Do You Have Your Fully-Stocked Survival Bolt-Hole Ready, “IT’S ALREADY TOO LATE!!!!!”

  • Ross Thompson

    How does she reconcile these beliefs of impending Christian persecution with Obama being Christian himself, and saying so without mincing words?

    Bah. Everyone knows he’s an atheist Muslim who belongs to one of those “wrong” (which is obviously not a synonym for “black”) Christian churches.

  • Lunch Meat

    I’m so sorry. I know how hurtful that is.

  • VMink

    I don’t mean to make light of your mother’s terror — she sounds like someone who’s been very badly becked.  Might it help to point out, that if Obama was going to do anything nefarious, he would have done it in his FIRST four year term, after he’d been elected, rather than wait for a second four-year term that may not even happen?

  • Madhabmatics

     If it contradicts Fox then it isn’t real, with increasingly strange justifications.

    When Innocence of Muslims dude was arrested for violating his probation, then suddenly his former crimes are actually a frame job by the Obama secret police, who snuck records into every court. The actors saying they were lied to? Christians don’t lie, the facists lie, therefore the actors are just being paid by Obama as part of an attempt to make a precedent for the future arrest of every Christian.

    I believe her exact excuse for “why didn’t he do it in his first four years” is because “he had to use those four years to set up the infrastructure”

  • P J Evans

    When Innocence of Muslims dude was arrested for violating his probation

    I don’t know if that’s better or worse than all the people talking about him being dragged off by brownshirts (the LA county sheriffs wear khaki) or that his free speech rights were being denied or some other out-there explanation – none of which bear any resemblance to reality.

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    When Innocence of Muslims dude was arrested for violating his probation, then suddenly his former crimes are actually a frame job by the Obama secret police, who snuck records into every court. The actors saying they were lied to? Christians don’t lie, the facists lie, therefore the actors are just being paid by Obama as part of an attempt to make a precedent for the future arrest of every Christian. — Madhabmatics

    “If your Conspiracy Theory doesn’t fit the facts, Invent a Bigger Conspiracy.”
    — Kooks Magazine

    Until The Conspiracy is so vast EVERYONE in the world (except for the Conspiracy Theorist) is part of The Conspiracy.  Hey — maybe that’s why Conspiracy Theory types are always so bitter — they’re the only one in the world who’s left out!

  • http://mistformsquirrel.deviantart.com/ mistformsquirrel

    I’m “liking” this post as a way of saying “I’m sorry you had to deal with that, I have no idea what I could possibly say to make it better.”

    I just want the reason to be understood cause it seems awkward, but also like the only thing I can do.  Just imagining that is painful beyond words.

  • flat

    to predict or not predict, that’s the question.

  • redsixwing

     Easy: don’t.

    Or do, and then don’t be surprised and shocked and horrified when it turns out not to be as easy as telling people all their fears will come true if they elect the wrong person.

  • http://kingdomofsharks.com/ D Johnston

    My favorite part is where they have Russia invading Eastern Europe. Aside from being ridiculous, I’m also struggling to figure out how that’s Obama’s fault.

    Also curious is that, while there’s a big section on Russia, there’s absolutely nothing about China. I’d chalk that up to a Cold War mindset, but it feels more like dispensationalism. PMDs don’t seem to think the PRC is all that significant – if it were, it would have been mentioned in the Bible, right?

  • Tricksterson

    Yes, but at least it existed at the time.  Nor only didn’t Russia exist, I’m pretty sure the Slavs hadn’t migrated there yet.  Could be wrong about that.

  • heckblazer

    No, you’re right.  The Rus didn’t arrive in what’s now Russia until the 9th century or so.  

  • P J Evans

     And the Rus were from Scandinavia (probably Sweden).

  • Eamon Knight

     Retrieving dimly-remembered snatches of reading Hal Lindsey as a teenager (yes, I’m that old — and used to be that stupid), there’s a verse with a prophetic reference to “Rosh”, which in eschatology circles is translated into Russia.

    I report, you decide ;-).

  • http://www.facebook.com/kenneth.fair Kenneth Fair

     The best part about that is that all four of the countries FoF had Russia “occupy” are NATO member nations.  Under Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, those attacks would be treated as an attack on all 28 NATO member nations, including of course the United States.

    Even assuming that Russia had any interest in restarting the Cold War, or the capability to do so, would they really start out with a guaranteed shooting war in Europe?  Somehow I doubt it.

  • Andy

    I’ve heard (from Hal Lindsey, among others) that China figures  in the prophecies concerning the kings from the East and the 200 million horsemen. (These are both in Revelation, I believe.) He noted that China has a 200 million-strong army, and of course they’re to the east of Israel, so it must fit!

    Of course, China doesn’t literally have 200 million horsemen, and I think Lindsey was counting everyone who might conceivably be available to fight. (Even for a highly-populated nation, 200 million people would be an absurdly huge army). But Lindsey was never very “literal” anyway; I recall that he thought the locusts in Revelation were really helicopters with nerve gas emanating from their tails. (Yes, I regret to say that I did read the book, a long time ago..)

  • Ross Thompson

    Also curious is that, while there’s a big section on Russia, there’s absolutely nothing about China. […] PMDs don’t seem to think the PRC is all that significant – if it were, it would have been mentioned in the Bible, right?

    Is Russia mentioned in the Bible?

  • http://kingdomofsharks.com/ D Johnston

     Well, no, but as seen in Left Behind, PMDs have decided that Gog = Russia. I don’t know what that’s based on, exactly, but it’s how they see it.

  • Ross Thompson

    Well, no, but as seen in Left Behind, PMDs have decided that Gog = Russia. I don’t know what that’s based on, exactly, but it’s how they see it.

    I suspect that brings us back to “It’s a hold-over from the Cold War”, but this time via LaHay’s Bircherism.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Even the non-PMDs who believe in the End Times generally seem to think Gog and Magog are Russian or Russian-oriented, though.

  • vsm

    Wikipedia has a nice article on the history of identifying Gog and Magog. Surprise surprise, they’ve usually been associated with whoever happens to be the bad guy at the moment: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gog_and_Magog#Identifying_Gog_and_Magog

  • Barry_D

     “PMDs don’t seem to think the PRC is all that significant – if it were, it would have been mentioned in the Bible, right?”

    Like the USA :)

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    “PMDs don’t seem to think the PRC is all that significant – if it were, it would have been mentioned in the Bible, right?”

    Remember the 200-million-man army from the East in the Book of Revelation?

    Identifying them with the Chinese (“Fulfillment of Prophecy!”) was de rigeur in the heyday of Hal Lindsay.

  • Jim

    So in a sense, Focus on the Family is really good at predicting things: we just have to see what they say, and then assume the exact opposite will happen.

  • http://www.facebook.com/j.alex.harman John Alexander Harman

    So in a sense, Focus on the Family is really good at predicting things: we just have to see what they say, and then assume the exact opposite will happen.

    No.  It would be convenient if that were true, but reversed stupidity is not intelligence.  Knowing a flagrantly false prediction, even if the prediction is so structured as to have a definable “exact opposite,” doesn’t help you determine what, in the vast universe of alternative possibilities, will actually come to pass.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    So in a sense, Focus on the Family is really good at predicting things: we just have to see what they say, and then assume the exact opposite will happen.

    Well, they’re predicting that a second term of Obama’s presidency will cause the US to become a socialist nation, when it reality it will remain one of the most right wing capitalist democracies on the planet. So I think you’re onto something there.

  • DStecks

    I might be off about this since I live in Canada, but aren’t porno mags already displayed openly? I mean, they’re on the shelves, how much more open can they be? Hell, the local convenience store has Maxim displayed at the front counter (and yes, FotF most certainly would consider Maxim to be pornography), and this has been the case since looong before 2008.

  • http://mjfgates.myopenid.com/ mjfgates

     Yep, there’s porn in quite a few mini-marts out there.

    Of course, the single MOST porn-a-riffic mini-mart I ever saw was in, I think, 2002. They’d fenced off half the floorspace and filled it with DVDs, clothes you wouldn’t wear outdoors, and fascinating lifestyle accessories.

    I surely, surely can’t remember who was president in 2002, but since there was porn, it must have been a Democrat. Then again, when I think about some of the accessories it was probably a Communist.

  • Godlesspanther

    2002, it was a republican who was POTUS. Had it been a Democrat, you would have not had a free choice to not purchase, look at, read, and wear that pornographic material. You would have been mandated by the government to view pornography. 

  • EllieMurasaki

    [citation needed]

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Shauna-Holmes/549196115 Shauna Holmes

     They aren’t really ‘displayed’ as they have a high shelf that hides most of the cover. You have to actually pull the magazine out to see it. At least, that’s how it is in the Midwest.

  • Robyrt

     I’m reading this Focus on the Family letter and it really has nothing to do with Obama or Democrats being elected. There are frequent asides where the writer portrays Obama as just as horrified as the reader but powerless to stop the real threat, the Ginsburg Court. There’s an attempt to tie it back to a well-intentioned vote for Obama but it falls rather flat. A lot of these scenarios are pretty good guesses, assuming that Scalia was replaced by a Cylon intent on eradicating the freedom of religion, but the basic scenario has so little to do with the election that it’s just not credible overall.

  • http://kingdomofsharks.com/ D Johnston

     That’s a good point. Other than the international ones, these entries are all aimed at the Supreme Court – Obama’s only involvement was with those ultra-liberal justices he was supposed to appoint. It makes sense when you consider that the conservative movement was in one of its anti-Judicial phases during the 2nd GWB term.

  • Tricksterson

    I notice it’s called “the Ginsburg court”.  Now in a liberal dominated court she would be a fairly logical candidate for the job (although one has to wonder what happened to Roberts.  I know!  Obama had him assassinated!) but I have to wonder if she was selected because she’s Gasp!  a woman!  and not only tht but Doublegasp!  a Jew!

  • http://profiles.google.com/marc.k.mielke Marc Mielke

    Scalia’s philosophy and that of the Cylons bear more similarities than differences, IMO. Both are radical monotheists who want to impose their faith on the entirety of mankind.

    Cylons are way hotter, though. 

  • Turcano

    A lot of these scenarios are pretty good guesses, assuming that Scalia was replaced by a Cylon intent on eradicating the freedom of religion…

    You mean he wasn’t?  Everything I know is a lie!

  • korbermeister

    They’re frakking cunning, those toasters are!

  • MaryKaye

    I think it’s reasonable to predict.  For example, Obama said he’d repeal DADT.  It’s not unreasonable to predict that he would (though frankly he left us wondering an awfully long time).

    But you should have some basis for your predictions!  If you want to say “Person X will pass Law Y” you should have some reason to think so–his campaign promises, his past legislative record, his party platform, etc.  If you want to say “Law Y will have result Z” you could look at similar state-level laws, similar laws in other countries, etc.  Failing that, you could look at experts’ predictions for the consequences of laws, being careful to balance your search out across ideologies.

    Ignoring this is like putting “Global temperatures will continue to rise as shown by climate models A, B and C” on the same footing as “The climate will collapse in 2012 because the Mayan calendar says so.”

  • Dantesque17

    Guys, it’s not October 22 yet.  The President still has three weeks to disband the Boy Scouts, shut down all conservative talk radio, and force everyone to be gay.  And coax Iran into nuking Tel Aviv.  And un-kill Osama bin Laden.

  • Tricksterson

    “and un-kill Osama bin Laden”

    Which he will do in a Satanic ritual involving the blood sacrifice of Christian babies.

  • Dantesque17

    Well, of course.  Where else will you get resurrection mojo but from Christian babies? 

  • The_L1985

     Oh, bringing him back to life is easy.  The hard part is if the nanogenes don’t understand what parts are bin Laden and what parts are seaweed and fish poop.

    I’ve seen that Doctor Who episode.  It didn’t go well.

  • http://profiles.google.com/marc.k.mielke Marc Mielke

     what parts are bin Laden and what parts are seaweed and fish poop.

    Osama bin Cthulhu?

  • LL

    You know, for the last 15 years or so, I just assume that most people (most of ALL people – famous and not-famous, religious and not-religious, media and not-media, etc.) are full of shit. And it has served me pretty well. I am not surprised anymore when we find out (as we inevitably do) that this person or that entity has been shown to be entirely wrong about something it proclaimed. I’m not saying all of them lie, though I suspect that well more than half of the inaccurate bullshit we hear/read is indeed deliberate lies. But to me, bullshit disseminated by someone too stupid to know it’s bullshit is not really better than a deliberate lie. So I tend to judge it just as harshly. If you’re going to disseminate something, you have an obligation (whether you think so or not) to try to make sure it’s accurate, not just forward it without bothering to check. If more people did this, it might result in a significant decrease in email traffic, just from the lack of email forwards yapping about some bogus story or incident that never actually happened. 

    Of course, I know that anything that comes from Focus on the Family is complete and utter bullshit, manufactured for the fearful, Jesusy masses. 

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    How on God’s green earth can people believe things like this? There is something seriously wrong with how people are getting their information.

  • http://www.fivedills.com Greg Dill

    Looks like Focus on the Family needs to focus on the family and not on politics.

  • Lori

     

    Looks like Focus on the Family needs to focus on the family and not on politics.  

    The problem is that the families they focus on tend to be Those People, hence the phrase I borrowed from someone several years ago—focus on your own damn family. 

    FotF has done a number of lay offs in recent years and is now a significantly smaller organization than it once was. What they need to do is just go all the way, close up shop and leave us all alone.

  • Tricksterson

    Considering their definition of what constitutes a proper family, maybe not.

  • Chancey McMorris

    Brilliant! Never heard it said any better.

  • DStecks

    I think one of stupider things in the letter is the idea that if Israel were nuked by Iran, it would give in to their demands and not, you know, turn the desert to glass.

  • ReverendRef

    And why is it when you show stuff like this to people who support FotF and are all “anti-Obama because he’s a socialist Muslim,” they look at you like YOU’RE the one who made this sh** up in order to defame FotF or other similar organizations?

    I recently wrote a letter to the editor (you may remember my mentioning it a few weeks back) against the Family Research Council and American Family Association, and calling attention to their hateful agendas.  One lady responded with a letter of her own and said something like, “the FRC isn’t anti-bullying — their website says so.”

    Pardon me, but isn’t that like going to the Philip-Morris website to get information about cancer?

  • Magic_Cracker

    Sounds like Obama is Christ Returned after all, what with him turning liberal children against their conservative parents and all!

  • Worthless Beast

    This sort of reminds me of this Chick Tract I read online when I was bored that was about the End of Days. The scary, scary villains were New Age Healers.  I couldn’t stop laughing. Also, there was a little kid making a bedtime for his parents and wanting to sacrifice housepets at school for the school Halloween ceremony. 

    I clicked on the pdf file and skimmed… the main villains here seem to be the scary, scary gays? 

    I have no idea how 16 and 17 are even supposed to work.  I don’t know of any family practitioners who would be forced to leave their jobs on the grounds of not preforming abortions because um… they already don’t preform abortions.  I didn’t think doctors who specialized in delivering babies did abortions, either?  I know my gynocologist pretty much does checkups and pap and gives referrals to others for more serious issues (“you may have cysts, go to this other person for an ultrasound” )… I thought abortions were a very specialized practice and field. Am I mistaken?

  • Tapetum

     As far as I’m aware (heavy medical background, but not an ob/gyn, nor even an MD at all), abortion ought to be part of normal ob/gyn practice, or at least for those ob/gyn’s who aren’t personally opposed. Ob/gyn’s are already surgically qualified in most of the relevant procedures as a matter of course (a D&C basically is the procedure for a lot of abortions, only without a fetus). One of the triumphs of the pro-life contingent is that they’ve made it into a separate specialty, done in special places – which can then be singled out and targeted so much more easily than trying to guess which of the normal looking ob/gyns is the horrible baby-killer.

  • Worthless Beast

    Thanks for the info.  I didn’t know. I figured that basic knowledge of proceedures of this category would be taught in medical school for Ob/gyns,  but thought the actual licensing for it was rather rare.  I remember a couple of stories I heard on the (mainstream) news – one scandal in Phoenix and one in Philly over the last several years about a couple of practioners with dubious/fraud lienceses being carted off to happy courtroom land on murder/malpractice charges for paitients they allowed to bleed to death. It left me with the impression that “not everyone with a medical degree is licensed to do this specific thing.”  If you don’t know what you’re doing, people die.

    The Focus on the Family letter leaves the impression that the doctor I go to for the sniffles would lose his job over something he doesn’t even do.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     I’m curious now. Are there other surgical procedures that a doctor can be “personally opposed” to and still be deemed competetant to practice in the specialty that involves them?  Like, can you have an oncologist who has a moral objection to treating the prostate?  Or, like, could you be qualified as endocrinologist but believe diabetes was divine punishment for gluttony and therefore refuse to treat it?

    Will they let you practice as a dentist if you’ve got a moral objection to treating molars?

  • http://kingdomofsharks.com/ D Johnston

     This sort of reminds me of this Chick Tract I read online when I was
    bored that was about the End of Days. The scary, scary villains were New
    Age Healers.

    There’s this eBook by a conservative doctor which – for lack of a better term – is about a tyranny of hippies. Among other things, the unwashed overlords have banned all medicine and only license alties.

    It’s easily the silliest dystopia I’ve ever seen, but I’m all ears if anyone’s found one that’s goofier.

  • Worthless Beast

    I haven’t been to Superdickery in ages, but I remember a cover from some 60s-70s Superman comic on there: “Superman vs. The Peacemonger!” – showing the Man of Steel apparently fighting an evil hippie.

    *Laughs*

  • http://profiles.google.com/marc.k.mielke Marc Mielke

     Among other things, the unwashed overlords have banned all medicine and only license alties.

    That would appear to be a problem that would resolve itself rather quickly. Now, if the New Age crap was just a way to control the masses and the elites still had access to real medicine, I could see this working.

  • http://www.facebook.com/j.alex.harman John Alexander Harman

    Now, if the New Age crap was just a way to control the masses and the elites still had access to real medicine, I could see this working.

    That might be a less drastic solution to the social problem posited by Cyril M. Kornbluth in his story The Marching Morons than the one the elite in the story eventually implemented.  (Fortunately, the problem itself represents something of a misreading of human biology and social trends, as XKCD pointed out in reference to a recent movie that used the same premise.)

  • Worthless Beast

    Hmmm.  One of the main problems with things like the “Idiocracy” setup (taken as a serious premise, it was meant to be a comedy film) is that, does “stupid” even exist anymore?

    It seems these days, whenever I hear someone talking about stupidity and “I hate stupid people” – it’s as meaningless as saying “I hate the people I hate” because that’s what “stupidity” has beeen redefined to – not actual literal IQ, but ideas, positions and people in general other people do not like.  Someone with a technically high IQ these days might be called “stupid” by a majority of people for a political opinion, or for supporting something that people assume “must conflict with their brain” for reasons of personal interest. 

    I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone with legitimate intellectual disabilities (low IQ) that anyone would call “stupid” in the moral sense/sense that the word is usually used for.

    So, I say, if we want to “get rid of all the stupid people” to make the future a better place, we need to agree upon a definition of “stupid” first.

  • http://kingdomofsharks.com/ D Johnston

    That’s a good point about “stupid” being a moral judgment. One of the things you’ll note about Idiocracy – a movie I can’t stand, precisely because it encourages people to think this way – is that many of the “stupid society” bits are actually matters of personal taste. That’s what you usually get from people who complain about how stupid other people are (i.e. “Reality TV is popular because people are stupid!”). It’s narcissistic and more than a little immature for one to assume that he’s better than everyone because of the films he watches or the music he listens to, but that’s what people do.

    I’d also add that, in my experience, the people who spend the most time ranting about “stupid people” are usually lacking in any real achievements. It’s an inverted ego boost – you lift yourself up by cutting everyone else down.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    That reminds me of one of the comments I heard about “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo”: The basic thing about the show that is problematic is that the family isn’t especially dysfunctional. There’s a teen pregnancy, but that’s hardly some kind of benchmark for dysfunction. Basically, other than the pagent thing, they’re not  really any more of a train wreck than any other family. And yet, there’s this whole show whose entire raison d’etre is for audiences to look at them, and point and laugh at the freaks who have the audacity to be poor, to be overweight, to not adhere to the cultural standards of beauty, to have tastes and interests associated with the lower classes, and to do all that without being ashamed of themselves for it: The whole point of the show is for us to sit in judgment of these people and say “How dare they be proud of themselves when they’re *poor* and *unphotogenic*!”

  • Carstonio

    The whole genre exists for viewers to feel superior to the people on the screen. What you describe is the flip side of the Real Housewives of Wherever and the Kardashians, where rich and attractive women are depicted as conniving and shallow. 

    I hadn’t heard the Honey Boo Boo family mocked for being poor or overweight, and I’m not sure what you mean by tastes associated with lower classes, although I don’t doubt that such mockery is out there. All the mockery I’ve heard is about the family allegedly being ignorant, which seems to also describe the Kardashians, and about the twisted nature of toddler pageants. As the father of daughters, I have no sympathy for any family that teaches their young girls that they’re deserving of love and approval based on their looks, no matter how wealthy or poor the family.

  • Carstonio

    Also, the first time I heard of the Kardashians show, I thought for a second that it was a Deep Space Nine spinoff.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Patrick-McGraw/100001988854074 Patrick McGraw

     One of the signs of my disconnect with popular culture is my entire knowledge of the Kardashians: they are apparently a rich family, Kim is very beautiful, and they have or have had a reality show. That’s it.

  • http://twitter.com/mcclure111 mcc

    “Among other things, the unwashed overlords have banned all medicine and only license alties.”

    Apart from the problem that this is not what most members of the American Left want, I don’t think this element is *automatically* unrealistic. Totalitarian governments can and have rejected science for imagined ideological issues and done so at the expense of lives. Read up on Lysenkoism sometime.

  • Jim Roberts

    Doesn’t sound beyond the bounds of something Ceausescu might’ve dreamt up either.

  • AnonymousSam

    Aside from that whole part about how theirs is the side that’s denying climate change, refusing to concede that doctors might know more about women’s health than they do, refusing to listen to anyone tell them how medicine actually works… XD

  • http://kingdomofsharks.com/ D Johnston

     As did Mao Zedong (the “ancient” art of TCM actually dates to the 50’s), but you didn’t see how they did it in this book. The character had a book on physiology hidden in a dust cover for a book on healing mushrooms. The Surgeon General was replaced by a head healer. It’s a deeply silly book, and I’d actually still be reading it if the chapters with the doctor weren’t so painfully boring.

  • Ross Thompson

     

    As did Mao Zedong (the “ancient” art of TCM actually dates to the 50’s), but you didn’t see how they did it in this book. The character had a book on physiology hidden in a dust cover for a book on healing mushrooms.

    In truth, the Barefoot Medicine philosophy was pretty much “use real medicine when it’s available, but failing that, do what you can with herbs and stuff”. The version that made it to America had the chapters on real medicine removed because the publishers didn’t think there would be any interest in that, in a nation that has good access to hospitals.

  • Tricksterson

    Just the phrase “tyranny of hippes” is enough to make me giggle..  I can’t begin to imagine what a hippie tyranny would be like although come to ink of it Niven and Pournelle took a shot at it in “Fallen Angels”, not one of their better collaborations.

  • http://www.facebook.com/j.alex.harman John Alexander Harman

    Robert Anton Wilson posited a hippy tyranny under President Furbish Lousewort IV in his Schrodinger’s Cat Trilogy, but that book is more of a literary hallucinogen trip than a serious dystopia.

  • Ross Thompson

    Schrodinger’s Cat Trilogy

    I should read that again.

  • AnonymousSam

    The Illuminatus! Trilogy is just as bad. You don’t have to be on acid or be schizophrenic to read them, but hey, they help!

  • Ross Thompson

    Yeah, I rather suspect Schrodinger’s Cat will hld up rather better than Illuminatus!. And both significantly better than hhis new-age non-fiction.

  • Tricksterson

    That was his only work that I didn’t like.  More specifically I liked the first book of the trilogy but the second and third were too incoherent for my tastes.  It dooes have one of my favorites epigrams though

    “The history of the world id the history of the battle between Schrodiger’s Cat and Pavlov’s Dog”

  • P J Evans

     Fallen Angels is much more fun when you actually know the people in the story. I used to go out with the guy they hanged from the Chicago Water Tower.

  • EllieMurasaki

    That sounds ominous.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jrandyowens Randy Owens

    Are you sure you don’t mean from the St. Louis Arch?  I don’t remember the hanging on Michigan Avenue.

    And yeah, it even helps if you’re just from some of the places that play a part.

  • P J Evans

     No, it was the Water Tower. I remember it was funny, because he lives in LA.
    (Well, the building at LAX that you could do it from doesn’t have nearly the visibility.)

  • wendy

    The after-care for a miscarriage? Is exactly the same (and I mean *exactly*, same tools and same hand movements and same everything) as an early-term abortion. Any OB/GYN who doesn’t know how shouldn’t have been able to pass their Boards. 

    That being said, not every specialist chooses to do everything they know how to do. There’s orthopedists who work exclusively on knees, or hips, haven’t touched an elbow or shoulder since the day they were certified. In a big city, there’s enough patients to let practitioners keep busy with very narrow sub-specialties. 

  • Tapetum

     Yep! Exactly the same. Which is why some of the bits of “conscience” legislation are so dangerous. When they propose that no ob/gyn be required to learn techniques used in abortion, they’re in essence proposing that practicing ob/gyn’s not be required to learn the single most common surgical technique used in their practice. One that is most of the time used for reasons having nothing to do with abortion.

    As someone whose life was saved by a crash D&C, the kind they do in the hospital room, on the bed, without benefit of anesthesia, that kind of legislation makes me very, very nervous. If the one ob/gyn to hand hadn’t known the procedure, for whatever reason, there wouldn’t have been time to go find one who did. And all the pro-life sentiments in the world wouldn’t have made me any less dead.

  • Jenny Islander

    And the pundits probably would have said that everybody knows that D&C is only used on slutty slut-sluts, so the fact that it was used on you shows what kind of unworthy person you were, so you got what you deserved.

    See also: only bad lazy fatties get diabetes, no medical coverage for bad lazy fatty diseases, etc.

  • http://heathencritique.wordpress.com/ Ruby_Tea

    On one hand, this is completely hilarious.  (Especially the part about “brave Christians” being thrown in jail.)  OTOH, I remember a mock election we had when I was in first grade (Reagan and Mondale).  Five-year-old Ruby could not have cared less about the election until a Very Serious classmate told me Very Seriously that if Reagan was elected, he would nuclear-bomb the entire planet and destroy it.

    Naturally, my parents disabused me of this theory in pretty short order, but I really feel bad for the little kids who are no doubt being fed this tripe. 

  • Kelex

    I especially love how the preface to the letter itself basically says “We’re not saying all of this WILL happen, just that it’s the obvious natural outcome.”

    So if any of it DID come true, they’re able to point and say “See, we told you!  It happened just like we said it would!” and in the unlikely event that NONE of their predictions come true, they’re still free to say that wasn’t what they meant at all.  A time-honored tradition among prophets…

  • Kelex

    I also love how most of these terrible predictions hinge on three conservative justices deciding to retire from the supreme court as soon as a liberal President is sworn in.  THIS DOES NOT HAPPEN…EVER.

  • heckblazer

    I just went read through the original letter (well, skimmed) and have some observations:

    The Boy Scouts  prediction was specifically that they would be forced to disband the same way  some Southern public school districts were forced to close in the 60s – because they’d prefer not existing over not discriminating.
    The predictions about a belligerent Russia look to me like they were inspired by a combination of the invasion of Georgia and and concerns about Democrats ending missile defense in Europe.   As people have noted, the prediction is wrongheaded since unlike Georgia, Poland, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Hungary and the Czech Republic are members of NATO, and again unlike Georgia none of them have a rebellious province that wants to secede and merge with Russia.  The UN not doing anything because Russia’s permanent seat on the Security Council would have been a good corollary prediction at least.

    Their fear about guns was unfounded.  The most overturning DC v. Heller would have accomplished was returning  us to the hellish world of 2007 where handguns, but not long arms, could be banned in federal enclaves.

    They had another partially correct prediction:  Borders no longer sells anti-homosexual books!!!1!!one!!

    Bringing back the Fairness Doctrine is another one of those bugaboos that must be great for fundraising, since absolutely no one of consequence has even suggested bringing it back.

    Aside from the gay and abortion related stuff, I don’t really see how most of these items even connect with Christianity.  Is the a Bible passage I’m missing on the need for the faithful to own handguns or the evils of a slightly higher top income tax bracket? 

  • Tricksterson

    The Boy Scout prediction is particularly ironic considering the Catholic bishops recent attempts at harrassing and pressuring the Girl Scouts.

  • EllieMurasaki

    That’s entirely different. The Girl Scouts are in trouble for being too nondiscriminating. The Boy Scouts were supposed to be in trouble for not being nondiscriminating enough.

    (I feel sorry for gay and trans boys who want Scouting and aren’t old enough to join a Venture crew. Boy Scouts will take cis boys and closeted trans girls provided they’re all gynophiles or asexual. Girl Scouts will take cis girls and out trans girls and not give a damn about orientation. I don’t know what the Girl Scouts would do about a trans boy who wanted to be a Scout, but I’m certain the Boy Scouts wouldn’t let him anywhere near, and a cis gay boy is out of luck.)

    (Come to that, I don’t know what Venturing would do with a gay or trans anybody either. Crews are mixed-sex, but that just means they don’t discriminate boy-girl, doesn’t say anything about whether they discriminate cis-trans or straight-queer.)

  • Richard Gadsden

    Re: Fairness doctrine, I’d be happy with someone suing Fox News for false advertising by calling themselves “Fair and Balanced” and not abiding by the Fairness Doctrine.

  • Antigone10

    The sad thing?  I’d like some of these predictions to have come true.  
    Gay marriage would be awesome (though, I wouldn’t force people to marry people against their religion- in any religious capacity).  
    1) Screw the Boy Scouts if they’re teaching bigotry.  They shouldn’t be disbanded by the government (that’s illegal), but don’t give them one bright red tax penny.
    Same thing with 3) If the presence of people in a loving, healthy environment for children offends your bigotry, then you should disband.  
    15 would be AWESOME- I want federally supported, full, open access to medical care for women including abortion. 
     20 is overreaching (who would tell you you couldn’t teach your kids about Jesus?  That’s ridiculous), but in general a good thing- homeschooling in many cases can cover up a lot of abuse, as well as not teaching children all that they need to know.22) Would also be great, and it wouldn’t lead to us being one iota less safe.  Warrentless wiretapping is unconstitutional- it should be illegal.
    23) We should work with the international community
    24) We should have ties to countries like Cuba and Venezuela- cultural exchange at the very least (so, opening up tourist and musical visas).
    26) Again, great.  Single-payer would be awesome, and not the hellish wait-list, kill the elderly approach they think it is.  Right NOW we have rationing of care, but since it hits poor people, I guess they’re just glancing right over that.
    28) Taxes should be raised.  We need money to run the country, and while the deficit is not the biggest concern in my book, it is in there.  Mostly, I don’t want to see social services destroyed because the Romney’s of the world need a new car elevator.  Also, I find it telling that they think there’s no overlap between “Hard-working, innovative small-business owners” and “the lowest 40% of all income people”.
    31) Off-shore drilling led to a huge natural disaster.  I’m not saying don’t do it, but I would like to see any company that does so having to have MASSIVE insurance plans in order to cover the possibility.
    34) Criminal proceedings would have been a great idea.It’s amazing on how a lot of their “closer to distopia” is my “closer to utopia”.   I know the predictions are ridiculous- I’m aware of how far to the left I am compared to the rest of the country (if only they were aware how far to the right THEY were).  But these things always make me sad.  We have very fundamentally different ways of determining what is “good, right and proper”.

  • http://patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism Libby Anne

    I thought the same thing when reading the document, actually. It was like “oh wow! wouldn’t it be great if that had actually happened!” for, oh, at least half of them. :-P

  • MikeJ

    Their accuracy is spooky!  Let us not suffer a witch to live!

  • http://mousehole-mouse.blogspot.com/?zx=bc3d377f4850d0bb Mouse

    Am I the only one who wishes Obama was half as radical as his enemies think he is? Maybe we’d finally get Universal Health Care and we wouldn’t have that whole Kill List thing.

  • http://mousehole-mouse.blogspot.com/?zx=bc3d377f4850d0bb Mouse

    Doesn’t the Bible also say we should stone false prophets? Of course, they’ll hem and haw and come up with a reason why we can’t follow that bit of Old Testament law, but if that one can be discarded, then why not the one against gays? And before you bring up Paul, Paul also said slaves should obey their masters, so yeah…

  • Mary Kaye

    Madhabmatics,

    I am so sorry to hear about your mother.  That must be terribly hard.

    If there is any way to convince her to have a thorough medical checkup, it would be worth doing–sometimes sudden changes in behavior represent an undetected physical problem.  (In my grandmother’s case it was a mini-stroke.)

    My only other thought is, perhaps rather than addressing the facts/lack thereof, you and her pastor could try addressing the fear directly?  “I know you feel afraid, but I want you to know that I love you and I will protect you.”  That helped with my grandmother during the worst of her irrational times.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    I really enjoyed this one:

    The new Congress under President Obama passed a nationalized “single provider” health care system, in which the U.S. government is the provider of all health care in the United States, following the pattern of nationalized medicine in the United Kingdom and Canada. The great benefit is that medical care is now free for everyone — if you can get it. Now that health care is free, it seems everybody wants more of it. The waiting list for prostate cancer surgery is 3 years.

    Because once men find out that they won’t have to pay for a procedure that carries significant risk of causing incontinence and/or impotence they’ll concentrate really hard and develop prostate cancer to cash in! Or else they’ll decide to have a go at getting the cancer removed rather than sitting around wondering if they’ll die, of which the latter is…vastly preferable?

    BTW, in Australia if you need prostate surgery and get it done in a public hospital it doesn’t cost you anything. The national waiting time is…drumroll…47 days for all prostatectomies; less for those involving a diagnosis of cancer. What the hell kinky shit are American men up to that the demand for prostate surgery blows the waiting time out by 2300%?

  • EllieMurasaki

    *reads letter* Warning, lots and lots of text.

    Marriage equality? GIMME.

    Boy Scouts disbanding? Well, if they’d rather disband than continue to discriminate against atheists and queer folk…it’d be a tragic loss, though, my brother and cousins have learned a lot from Boy Scouts.

    Teaching kids that the various flavors of queer are all flavors of normal? GIMME.

    Christian adoption organizations disbanding? Well, if they’d rather disband than continue to discriminate against queer folk…be a shame, though, any kid that’s got a private adoption organization advocating for them is a kid the state doesn’t have to worry about as much.

    Benefits for same-sex spouses of employees same as for opposite-sex spouses? GIMME.

    No Bible on public broadcasting? ??? why would anyone think we’d want that? Be nice if people didn’t preach the hateful bits, but ban the whole thing, or indeed any part of it? That’d be stupid.

    Doctors and lawyers losing licenses for refusing to do their jobs? Uh. I’m pretty sure that with the (possible) exception of emergency room doctors, any doctor can refuse to treat any patient provided they refer the patient to another doctor with similar expertise. Lawyers, similar, unless the case is pretty close to hitting the courtroom and the judge says the lawyer’s not allowed to fire the client at this point in the proceedings, but that wouldn’t apply here because any lawyer who didn’t want to handle a same-sex couple’s adoption could refuse to take them on to begin with.

    Counselors and social workers forbidden to behave as though there’s something wrong with being queer? GIMME.

    Church buildings considered a public accommodation? The ADA makes a point of exempting religious organizations, and the ADA, I understand, uses a broader definition of ‘public accommodation’ than anybody else in the country. Why would that change?

    Employers forbidden to discriminate on sexual orientation? GIMME.

    Schools banning religious meetings on school property? Why? I don’t want them banning Secular Student Association meetings, so why would I want them banning prayer meetings? As long as no one says or implies or tries to imply that attending any such is required or that the school is promoting the views of this particular flavor of religious belief over any other flavor (counting atheism as one such flavor), and it’s not during school hours, it’s just on school property for the convenience of its attendees who are all students there, where’s the problem?

    Churches meeting in rented school property or public libraries? Has this ever actually been a thing? And if it is in fact a thing, why would I object to it? Again, provided neither the school nor the library is promoting one flavor of religious belief over another. (Unless there are two groups wanting the same meeting space at the same time, in which case there’s absolutely no problem with the school or library promoting the group that asked first and/or is willing to pay more rent over the other group.)

    While it’d be nice to see anti-queer campus groups go, I’m at a loss for how that could be made to happen, or why it’d be a good idea to make it happen rather than to encourage it to happen or to let it happen on its own.

    One nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all? GIMME.

    No restrictions on abortion whatsoever? GIMME.

    Didn’t we already go over how a medical professional can refuse anything they like provided the patient gets the treatment they need from somebody?

    Yeah, I think we did.

    Viewing pornography, like any other sexual act, ought to be fully consensual and not done by anyone who isn’t at least a few years past puberty. Rewriting the law to say naked bits aren’t inherently obscene? GIMME. Removing all regulations on the display of naked bits? No. At least some of those regulations need to be there.

    Limiting guns to police and military? I’d love to do it (though not with the ‘active-duty’ caveat; reserves, National Guard, and retirees, I’m fine with them having guns), but I’ve no desire to restrict the ability to hunt for food or to take out a predator that’s getting too bold, and it is probably absurd to require anyone who wants a hunting rifle to join the National Guard. I don’t know what guns a National Guard member might use but I bet hunting rifles are not among them.

    Making sure parents who want to homeschool know something about teaching methods and aren’t teaching bullshit and aren’t restricting kids’ education on religion to just the parents’ religion? GIMME.

    Out of Iraq entirely? GIMME.

    No warrantless wiretapping? GIMME. Fair trials for all accused? GIMME.

    I’ll skip the other foreign policy sections. Not my area of expertise by a long shot. Though I suspect the Latin America section is as hilariously wrong as the Russia, Israel, and al-Qaeda sections.

    Single-payer health care? GIMME.

    Legal physician-assisted suicide at the request of the patient? GIMME.

    Higher taxes on dividends, capital gains, corporations, inheritances, and the personal incomes of people who make a fuckton? GIMME.

    I can accept that there is a point at which increasing taxes reduces revenue. We have never hit it. Not even when the top tax bracket had a marginal rate of better than 90%.

    More unionization? GIMME.

    Less coal, less oil, and no new nuclear? GIMME. Provided we’ve invested a substantial chunk of change into renewable energy.

    Conservative talk radio gone? GIMME. Conservative talk radio shut down? Bad plan. Mandating time for differing political opinions? Bad plan. On any given issue there’s probably at least three distinct schools of opinion, possibly more than five, and whenever there’s at least five it’s a safe bet that one of those is completely divorced from reality. So either someone would have to pick which views got air time (bad plan) or the divorced-from-reality ideas would get mandated airtime (bad plan).

    Anti-queer books no longer sold? GIMME. Anti-queer books banned? When has banning a book [i]ever[/i] done anything but make it more popular, if harder to get a copy of?

    Bush and his people on trial for war crimes? GIMME.

    Obama’s not the person the conservatives are afraid of, and I really wish he was. Obama’s the second coming of Reagan, which, while a great deal better than all the alternatives in 2008 or 2012 that ever had a chance of winning any electoral votes…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Patrick-McGraw/100001988854074 Patrick McGraw

    Schools banning religious meetings on school property? Why? I don’t want them banning Secular Student Association meetings, so why would I want them banning prayer meetings?

    Because you support equal rights. They do not. In fact, they do not believe that anyone genuinely supports equal rights – they think it is only a ruse, used to do to them what they try to do to others.

  • http://mousehole-mouse.blogspot.com/?zx=bc3d377f4850d0bb Mouse

    Remember they believe rights work like pie; if you wanna give one group more rights or more pie so to speak, you have to take away rights from someone else. Therefore, giving gays more rights would take away rights from Heterosexuals. But rights doesn’t work like pie; giving more people more rights doesn’t take away anyone’s rights; it expands rights.

  • http://heathencritique.wordpress.com/ Ruby_Tea

    Because you support equal rights. They do not. In fact, they do not believe that anyone genuinely supports equal rights – they think it is only a ruse, used to do to them what they try to do to others.

    So much of the RTC mindset is founded on projection.  As is, for that matter, D’Souza’s movie, assuming as it does that family history must (must!) account for all one’s political and social views.

  • Iriemamaof3

    EllieMurasaki for President! That’s about the best thing I’ve read in the past couple of days. Thank you.

  • EllieMurasaki

    *blush*

    I’d suck at being a politician. Politicians are expected to speak in public. Or at least put together three consecutive coherent intelligible spoken sentences, which I have trouble doing unless I’m reading a prepared statement. But thank you for the compliment!

  • http://twitter.com/mcclure111 mcc

    “That one correctly foresaw the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ — but then also incorrectly predicted a host of disastrous consequences of that repeal. Obama did repeal DADT, but Christians have not been expelled from the military and the Pentagon isn’t paying ‘special bonuses’ to LGBT recruits.”
    So, a few things I’d like to note here. One, the letter didn’t predict repeal of DADT. It predicted Obama would remove DADT by executive order. Obama very specifically did not do this. Obama insisted– while his base clamored like crazy for an executive order to the point that the Democrats were probably hurt in 2010– on moving only through the legislative process. I think this was probably the *best* way to do it, for several reasons, and it sure looks to me like this was part of some kind of deal with the military where they’d endorse repeal in exchange for getting to dictate the path by which it was implemented– but it’s not what the letter predicted. So I’m disinclined to grant them even the 0.5 for that.

    Two, it’s worth noting the “special bonuses” and “christians expelled from the military” sound like pre-spinning of two things the authors of that letter might have forseen and opposed: reversal of punitive measures for people previously discharged under DADT or pre-DADT policies (and thus reinstatement of things like pensions), and a military nondiscrimination policy for LGBs. To my knowledge neither of these things has yet happened, though both need to. At this moment, the military will not kick you out for being gay; however if your superior officer chooses to harass or demote you or whatever upon learning you are gay, you as I understand lack the legal protections which you would have had if this were done because you are a Christian, or a Muslim.

    Finally, in the quote above, Fred makes reference to “LGBT recruits”. I realize he’s stating an extreme which didn’t happen, but this is kind of one of those cases where ritualistically tossing that “T” at the end there does a disservice to the “T”s. DADT repeal was not a “LGBT issue”. This is because   the DADT policy, and the 1993 law which is what we were actually repealing during “DADT repeal”, only covered Ls, Gs, and Bs. Ts, on the other hand, are covered by a totally separate policy– a policy which states transsexualism, transgenderism, or other “paraphilias” (to use the army medical manual’s qualit 1920sy language) are medically disqualifying for the U.S. armed forces, and where discovered in the existing ranks are to be dealt with by an administrative (that’s the bad kind) discharge. *This policy is still in place.* Unlike the ban on service by gays and lesbians under DADT, this policy *could* legally be reversed by mere executive order, but Obama has not done this and to my knowledge the White House has never publicly commented on the possibility. Maybe this could happen in a second Obama term. Maybe they are waiting for the DSM-V to officially de-classify transgenderism as a “disorder” (although the APA has by now issued a public policy statement saying they do not believe transgenderism is a mental disorder). I don’t know. I just know it hasn’t happened, and while it hasn’t happened it bothers me to see the phrase “LGBT” thrown around in discussions of DADT because I feel like this contributes to the widespread ignorance that the transgender ban even exists.

  • friendly reader

     Speaking as someone with a managed mental health disorder, even if you choose to interpret transgender identity as a form of body dismorphism, if it’s a managed and treated disorder (for example, through gender reassignment or lifestyle changes) that should not disqualify your from military service. And that’s the standard “treatment” at this point – there’s no way of reversing whatever causes transgender identity vs cisgender identity (biological difference? absurd cultural norms?), and the military should accommodate the standard procedure of medical health professionals. It should be treated no differently than someone who’s taking meds for depression or some other ailment. Admittedly, the “treatment” in this case might involve people who are still physically female in bunks with people who are physically male and vice-versa, which could result in badness, but it’s the effing military. You’re supposed to learn discipline and procedures. You don’t get to dismiss people just because they have what could be considered a “mental disorder.”

    [I will admit: my own background tends to make me feel more fully on the side of people with transgender identity when it’s phrased as “irreversible medical disorder needing change to treat” than “I identify with a gender other than my sex,” in part because as near as anyone has been able to explain to me, “gender” is the stupid bullshit I spent most of my life tearing my hair out any time anyone tries to tell me “what women are like” and it totally doesn’t match me. That said, I totally acknowledge that this inability to understand is due to my own issues and I respect the ways that people with trans identities want to be treated – the names they want to use, the pronouns they prefer, and whatever medical services they might need.]

  • Jenora Feuer

     I believe that’s the official handling of this in Canada, at least in the Canadian military.  I heard an interview a few years back with one of the first members of the Canadian military to get sexual reassignment surgery paid for by the military.  The fact that dismorphism was a recognized disorder, and that reassignment surgery was the recommended treatment, made pushing it through the red tape a lot easier.

    As a note, Canada has allowed LGBT members to serve openly in the military since 1992, and reassignment surgery has been officially covered since 1998; just like with same-sex marriage, the sky hasn’t fallen in here yet.  (I’ve heard reports that there have been attempts to make reassignment surgery no longer covered, though I don’t believe that has gone through yet.  Largely because some people view trying to cut that as a discrimination lawsuit waiting to happen.)

  • EllieMurasaki

    I heard an interview a few years back with one of the first members of the Canadian military to get sexual reassignment surgery paid for by the military. The fact that dismorphism was a recognized disorder, and that reassignment surgery was the recommended treatment, made pushing it through the red tape a lot easier.

    What do they do with someone who isn’t cis and who doesn’t want the surgery? I know there are places where getting the surgery is a prerequisite for correcting the driver’s license and so forth, which is hard on the people who are fine with their preoperative body but who don’t identify with their birth-assigned gender.

  • Jenora Feuer

    I don’t know for sure.

    I do know that as of a couple of years ago (probably around the time I heard this interview), the Canadian Armed Forces changed its rules to allow transitioning soldiers to wear the uniform of their target gender, even pre-op.  Though a comment I saw on one article about that (from one of the people interviewed) suggested that ruling only applies to people actually transitioning, and not necessarily for people who present as the opposite gender but have no plans to go through the surgery.

    So the answer, unfortunately, is probably that the sorts of people you talk about are still not officially recognized.

  • Lori

     

      I believe that’s the official handling of this in Canada, at least in
    the Canadian military.  I heard an interview a few years back with one
    of the first members of the Canadian military to get sexual reassignment
    surgery paid for by the military.   

    This works in Canada because you have “gasp” socialized medicine. In the US the military has socialized medicine, but the rest of us do not, which is part of the reason they won’t take anyone who is trans and will discharge anyone found to be trans after they’re in.

    There are quite a number of other health conditions that require expensive treatment and/or ongoing medication to manage that also disqualify people from service, diabetes for example. The need for daily medication places some practical limits on the jobs that someone can do (you can’t send someone who needs daily insulin or hormones to a FOB in Afghanistan for a year because resupply just isn’t reliable enough and at least for insulin long term safe storage wouldn’t generally be possible). It also makes the solider really expensive when compared to other soldiers. Not going to happen.

     

    I’ve heard reports that there have been attempts to make reassignment
    surgery no longer covered, though I don’t believe that has gone through
    yet.  Largely because some people view trying to cut that as a
    discrimination lawsuit waiting to happen. 

    This is the other reason this will never happen in the US military until we have single payer.

    Although in the US there is no legally recognized right to serve so I’m not sure it would play out the same way here.

  • reynard61

    I’ve made predictions about the future at various times, and I’m generally relieved that most of them don’t come true. (I’m such a pessimist!) But I have two hard and fast rules about prognostication:

    1. Do your research and ground your predictions in fact. The more embellishments that you add to a prediction, the less chance of people paying attention to it. (Or, as in this case, the more people will see it as fear-mongering.)

    2. If your prediction either doesn’t come true, or comes true in a totally unexpected fashion, *MAN UP TO IT!!!* It’s okay to be wrong and apologize for being so; but, by golly, *own your mistake!* People will generally respect you for having the courage to do so.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Gus-Hinrich/100000151807749 Gus Hinrich

    I try to avoid predictions. When Elvis died, I said “Well, that’s the last we’ll hear about him.”
    My wife reminds me of this every time I predict something…

  • Fusina

     “Looks like Focus on the Family needs to focus on the family and not on politics.”

    NO! Because of James Dobson and some of his asinine advice, I was beaten multiple times with a leather belt until I had welts that persisted for about a week at a time. Apparently, in one of his books or radio shows in the seventies, he advised that if a child “needed” a spanking, one should spank until the child who wasn’t crying did, and _THE CHILD WHO WAS CRYING STOPPED_. I was the kid who would not cry. So she would continue. Not sure where/when I learned about it–I think I overheard her talking to a friend on the phone about it. After I learned that was what she did, I would cry after three whacks. Yeah, I do hate Mr. Dobson, why do you ask?

  • Lunch Meat

    That’s horrible. I’m sorry.

  • Fusina

     Yeah. Well, I did learn manipulation of another person from it… not sure that was the lesson she was going for. And, more importantly from my perspective, I did NOT beat my children. I did on occasion spank them, but never with anything but my hand on their bottoms, and it ended entirely around the age of six for each of them, as they could be reasoned with by that point. Mostly because I decided that the abuse ended with me. See, her excuse for the beatings was that her Dad beat her…

  • The_L1985

     and it ended entirely around the age of six for each of them, as they could be reasoned with by that point.

    That part alone makes me both relieved and ashamed.

  • Jim Roberts

    I have two boys and generally employ the patented Jethro Gibbs cuff on the back of the head. Always with the hand moving up, and if I just brush the back of the head, that’s fine.

  • fraser

    Yes, he talked glowingly in one of his books about how you had to beat a child until you break his will to resist (but not his spirit–fine line there). And quotes with approval one RTC’s story about how after getting beaten, he had to then hug his father and saw how much he loved him.

  • Fusina

     Yeah, well I left that part out as being too unbelievable. And she doesn’t understand how I could possibly not believe that she loves me.

    I think one of my proudest moments as a Mum was when my then three year old daughter stood across the room from me, stomped her foot and said, “Mommy, I’m mad at you.”

    Hee, I totally confused her when I grinned widely and said, “Oh, honey I’m so glad you feel okay to express things like that.” Because I was, in a great part because I was not allowed to as a child, because of my Mom breaking down in tears because I didn’t love her. In her world, anger = hate. Um. At 13, I was not equipped to handle that sort of insanity.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Patrick-McGraw/100001988854074 Patrick McGraw

     

    Because I was, in a great part because I was not allowed to as a child,
    because of my Mom breaking down in tears because I didn’t love her. In
    her world, anger = hate. Um. At 13, I was not equipped to handle that
    sort of insanity.

    I know that feeling well.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    NO! Because of James Dobson and some of his asinine advice, I was beaten multiple times with a leather belt until I had welts that persisted for about a week at a time.

    Sounds like Mister Dobson needs someone to tie him down, pull down his pants, and deliver a sound round of smacks with a leather beater to the exposed area.  When finished, we gently tell him it was for his own good, and he did something bad by trying to pass hateful legislation, and he needed to understand it was bad.  Then we give him a hug.

    I do not endorse general corporal punishment, but Dobson has made it implicitly clear he would be okay with such forms of disciplinary action.  If he does not like the idea of getting smacked with a beater for punishment, then he should go rethink his position on the issue.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

    For my own part, if I don’t endorse a form of punishment, then I don’t endorse it, even for people who have endorsed such punishment for others. 

    That said, if someone of sound mind is explicitly agreeing to a form of punishment that I reject (not the situation here, and I don’t think you were seriously claiming it is, but if you were I simply disagree), I would agree that their agreement trumps my disapproval.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    For my own part, if I don’t endorse a form of punishment, then I don’t endorse it, even for people who have endorsed such punishment for others. 
    That said, if someone of sound mind is explicitly agreeing to a form of punishment that I reject (not the situation here, and I don’t think you were seriously claiming it is, but if you were I simply disagree), I would agree that their agreement trumps my disapproval.

    Heh.  I get it.  I was proposing that more as a thought experiment for Dobson.  The idea being, would you be willing to undergo a punishment yourself?  No?  Then reconsider proposing it.  It just seems like Reciprocity 101.  

    The impression I get from Dobson though, is that of an interpersonal hierarchy  rather than straight reciprocity between individuals.  The idea that having a particular kind of relationship with another person allows a certain set of actions to be one-way.  You can hit your child because they are your child, and they have no right to fight back or protest, because you are the parent and they are not.  

    At least that is what I take away from what he seems to be saying.  I have always held to the model that one ought to model behavior for children that one wants them to emulate.  If you must punish to get a point across, use a punishment that you would be willing to undergo yourself in the same situation.  

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

     

    I have always held to the model that one ought to model behavior for children that one wants them to emulate.

    Yes, yes, yes. Actually, I hold to this model for adults, as well.

    Admittedly, my thoughts about corporal punishment in particular are always informed by my personal experience… my parents rarely hit, but I remember every time they did, because it always left me feeling powerful and superior to have reduced them to that level. I am not proud of this feeling, but it’s there.

  • Fusina

     Sounds like Mister Dobson needs someone to tie him down, pull down his
    pants, and deliver a sound round of smacks with a leather beater to the
    exposed area. 

    But only until he starts crying (if he wasn’t) or stops crying (if he was). Gotta do it HIS way.

  • Tricksterson

    I suspect that this would only turn him on.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Can we please stop speculating on Dobson’s sexual preferences? It’s creeping me out.

  • Tricksterson

    Thou hast a point.

  • reynard61

    “Sounds like Mister Dobson needs someone to tie him down, pull down his pants, and deliver a sound round of smacks with a leather beater to the exposed area. When finished, we gently tell him it was for his own good, and he did something bad by trying to pass hateful legislation, and he needed to understand it was bad. Then we give him a hug.”

    How do we know that he doesn’t occasionally make surreptitious trips to the local S&M dungeon and get *exactly* this “therapy”? It would certainly explain a few things…

  • EllieMurasaki

    An adult engaging in risk-aware consensual kink with another consenting adult, no problem whatsoever, though if that person has a significant other who is not the kinkytimes playmate then everybody needs to be aware and accepting of everybody else. The exact same behavior in a context where it is nonconsensual and punitive, and taking advantage of a power imbalance that has not been created for the purpose of kinkytimes, and one participant is a child? No, no, no, no.

    I can accept that sometimes it is necessary to spank a sufficiently young child because there isn’t any other way to get the kid’s attention or to get the kid to understand that what the kid did is unacceptable. But once the kid’s old enough to words? No. Never. And before then, more smacks or harder smacks than are absolutely necessary? No. Never.

  • reynard61

    “An adult engaging in risk-aware consensual kink with another consenting adult, no problem whatsoever, though if that person has a significant other who is not the kinkytimes playmate then everybody needs to be aware and accepting of everybody else.”

    I guess that I need to start putting irony tags on my posts from now on. (I’m not opposed to safe, consensual kink. Luna *knows* I have a few proclivities of my own…)

    That said, however, I think that Dobson and his ilk are afraid of and opposed to Teh Kink the same way that they are afraid of and opposed to Teh Ghey — they *have* to be afraid of (and opposed to) it because their chosen ideology/religion *DEMANDS* that they be against (and afraid of) it. But I strongly suspect that somewhere, very deep in his psyche, there’s a meta-James Dobson who wouldn’t hesitate to get into the kind of S&M relationship scenario that FearlessSon described. After all, look at how *supposedly* anti-gay preacher Ted Haggard fell prey to his meta-Ted’s gay desires. Dobson’s simply been more successful at sublimating/supressing his desires…thus far…

  • friendly reader

    Oh, and in regards to the comment about pornography on regular stands, print media is very much alive and kicking in Japan, and FotF would have a heart attack if they walked through my local convenience store.

  • Carstonio

    Speaking of prophecies…

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2012/10/02/todd_akin_videos_cspan_clips_reveal_the_missouri_candiate_s_paranoia_about_abortion_and_stem_cell_research_.html

    One revealing glimpse into the Akin worldview: May 24, 2005, Akin’s speech denouncing stem cell research on
    the House floor. It’s a marvel of right-wing paranoia in which he
    fantasizes about what will happen if stem cell research continues—if it
    reaches what he calls “step three”—based on a story about harvesting
    organs from real humans that his daughter wrote: 

    My own daughter wrote a little story—I
    will read it—about step three. “I live with 40 others in a compound,
    supervised by cool, efficient orderlies. Instead of playing, I stood
    pondering a troubling dream from the night before. It was of a loving
    father, giving his child a name. I’ve always been just 5-25-61-B.”

     

  • Launcifer

    I’d actually be mildly interested to know if his daughter actually wrote that – and how old she was at the time – because that little paragraph somehow manages more of a “right-wing” apocalyptic feel than an entire ellanjay novel.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charity-Brighton/100002974813787 Charity Brighton

    It sounds like the premise of approximately 5,000,000 dystopian fiction stories, ranging from “Handmaid’s Tale”, to “The Giver”, to “Logan’s Run”, “Anthem”, to “Harrison Bergeron”… Stories like that can be very compelling and they can even be used as allegories or teaching tools to describe aspects of our own modern society. Where  our dimwitted friend Akin falls apart is that he uses this story as proof of his claim.

    It would be the equivalent of using “Logan’s Run” as proof that Obamacare requires the murder of anyone  over the age of 21. LaHaye makes the same mistake too, of course; in his Left Behind series he portrays a fictional version of the Bible with unusual interpretations but doesn’t seem to realize that this doesn’t change the actual text of the real-world version of the Bible.

  • rm

    Madhabmatics, please forgive me if I am off base, but have you considered that there may be a mental health component? I ask because you’ve described her holding very persistent, robust, elaborate delusions. I know these delusions are the stuff Glenn Beck and talk radio spouts all day long, but perhaps the propaganda is opportunistically latching on to an existing problem that may be chemical. Reasoning won’t work if there is a physical/chemical mental illness that must be treated first. Or I could be completely full of it, I don’t know. But consider the possibility and get help if it’s appropriate.

  • hagsrus

    Did anyone else see this story which seems to have had the right wing all excited in August, about Obama’s brother George asking Di Souza for $1000 to pay his medical bills?

    “How I became George Obama’s ‘brother’ ”
    http://tinyurl.com/c79zv4o (just one example)

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Did anyone else see this story which seems to have had the right wing
    all excited in August, about Obama’s brother George asking Di Souza for
    $1000 to pay his medical bills?

    Is that story even real? D’Souza sounds like the kind of guy who would gladly make shit up if it let him score rhetorical points.

  • hagsrus

     It sounded to me as if he might have been scammed!

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    As a result, all radio stations have to provide equal time to contrasting views for every political or policy-related program they broadcast by talk show hosts like Rush Limbaugh, Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity, Dennis Prager, Janet Parshall, Michael Medved and Hugh Hewitt, and broadcasters like Dr. James Dobson. Every conservative talk show is followed by an instant rebuttal to the program by a liberal “watchdog” group. Many listeners gave up in frustration, advertising (and donation) revenues dropped dramatically, and nearly all conservative stations have gone out of business or switched to alternative formats such as country or gospel or other music.  Conservative talk radio, for all intents and purposes, was shut down by the end of 2010.

    I think that we ought to reinstitute the Fairness Doctrine for precisely this reason.  If nothing else, having a contrasting position will at least force those making assertions to defend their assertions and be held accountable.  

    Does that mean that conservative talk radio gets run out of business due to frustrated customers and loss of advertising?  Hell yes it does, and good riddance.  I blame them for our intractable political difficulties.  

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    Back when this “letter from the future” came out (just before the 2008 General Election), I remember the buzz it caused.  From what I found out about it:

    Standard Christianese Near-Future Persecution Dystopia.  (Only thing missing was the End Time Prophecy tie-in.)

    Pretty lame even by the standards of “But I Send This Back In Time To Warn You” didactic dystopias.

    “Teh Fags Teh Fags Teh Fags Teh Fags Teh Fags…”  Internet Monk’s comment on it was “James Dobson?  Remember him?  Did a lot of good things before fear of homosexuals drove him over a cliff with his constituency still in the car.”

    P.S.  0-for-34?  That sounds like National Enquirer’s “Top Psychic Predictions for the New Year”.

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    “This is the most important election of all time! (again)”

    All Bronies out there:
    Cue Rarity and her fainting couch —
    “THIS! IS! THE! WORST! POSSIBLE! THING!”

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    “Yo, Focus on the Family, I’m really happy for ya.  I’mma’ let ya finish, but this is the most important election of all time!”

  • http://profiles.google.com/damotclese Too Much

    It would seem that the FoF Christofascist hate cult’s “prophets” are direct lines to their Christian gods are broken. Frothing insane cult savages!
     

  • Olbronc

    I think Libby Anne should give it another four years before totaling the scores (assuming BHO wins the WH again).

  • Jeff

    #22 was partly right. There was a car bomb in Times Square, May 2010 but they sucessfully defused it.

  • Brian

    As a non-practicing Jew I’m going to go out on a limb here and agree with the concept that someday the world as we know it will end give or take a million years. I think we can all agree on this. Along with the fact that anybody who drank a glass of milk 150 years ago is now dead.

  • http://www.facebook.com/avery.falksmith Avery Falk-Smith

    First of all…. IF people would read their bibles…. Revelations to be exact, Jesus Christ himself does NOT know himself the hour and date of his return, nor the angels. Revelations also explains that certain events have to take place BEFORE his return, meaning we all need to read to see these events to know where we are at in Revelations. I don’t believe in “Psychics, Tarot Cards, Palm readers” what I do believe is what the bible has already stated and what God himself shares with me. I do believe however that America IS asleep and needs to wake up.  According to the bible, 2 will be chosen for election but there will also be a public figure that will rise up, then the anti christ. Are we in that time right now? Hard to say, although things seem to point that way. In the end days, God does talk about division among us. Already we are hearing how the Democrats are talking about if your Christian you need to bail now and leave. God is moving us around folks, he is getting us ready, moving us into position. Wars and rumors of wars are also stated in this book. Israel will NOT see peace until his return. If we sit here and put so much focus on the media and all this madness flying around we actually rob ourselves of what God has given us. We have taken our eyes off of him and not stood on our faith and our trust in him. Yes, these things are heartbreaking,  yes when it does come down to who wins we will be faced with enduring what they have to offer us, but I say take heart, keep your spiritual eyes and ears open and stay focused on what God will have you focused on.  “Satan will come like a thief in the night, a wolf in sheep’s clothing…a coat of many colors” We all need to be watching and praying and continuing life as God intended. We are living in scary times folks, no question. Where is our faith? Where is our trust? God says, FEAR NOT! For I AM with you always! With much love from God and I to all of you! God Bless us all! :)

  • EllieMurasaki

    Already we are hearing how the Democrats are talking about if your Christian you need to bail now and leave.

    [citation needed]

  • http://www.facebook.com/avery.falksmith Avery Falk-Smith

    Citation needed? This means? Not sure I am following you.

  • AnonymousSam

    It means when you say something like this, you need to provide a link to your source material — the idiot saying this who has a destiny with a clue-by-four. There may be people who identify as Democrats who are saying garbage like this, but it is not representative of the Democrat party at large.

    No, not even Obama, as much as people want to make him out to be an antichrist. He’s Christian. Quite explicitly so.

  • EllieMurasaki

    You don’t spend much time on Wikipedia, do you? It means I will not believe you unless presented with evidence that what you say is true. In this case, that means quoting prominent Democrats who are rejecting Christianity, and linking to the news sites from which you got the quotes. Ideally video clips, but text from well-known news sources will do. Unless it’s Fox News, because they are notoriously biased and often flat-out wrong, such as saying a Republican politician is Democratic when that politician is doing something Fox doesn’t like. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/06/24/fox-news-identifies-sanfo_n_220377.html

  • Eminnith

    “Satan will come like a thief in the night, a wolf in sheep’s clothing…a coat of many colors”

    You’re saying Satan will come dressed like Joseph. You do realize that’s what you’re saying, right? You do realize you’re mixing up Old + New Testment books having nothing to do with each other, right? And do you also realize that there is no book of the Bible called “Revelations”? There is “Revelation” without that “s” because it is one revelation, not many. And you also realize that the original post was about false prophecy making Focus on the Family look dumb, right?

  • P J Evans

    Jesus Christ himself does NOT know himself the hour and date of his return

    That’s not in Revelation; that’s in one of the Gospels.

  • Godlesspanther

    “Jesus Christ himself does NOT know himself the hour and date of his return”

    Well, in that case, I do know more than JC himself knows on that subject. I do know the exact day, hour, and minute that Mr. Jesus will make his miraculous come-back. 

    Never. 

    Never, ever, ever, ever, ever. Will not and cannot happen.

    That is not an opinion, that is a fact.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/avery.falksmith Avery Falk-Smith

    Citation needed? This means?

  • http://www.facebook.com/qittqat Kim Qitqat Brechtel

    prediction #14 was in effect 30 years ago when I lived in Virgina. Like those people are not the brightest bulbs in the pack. Jeesh!

  • BrendtWayneWaters

    Oh, puhleeeze. It was evident before Obama was even a viable candidate that Dobson was a political whore.  What’s next?  Proof that the earth is round?

  • P J Evans

    Your reading comprehension is failing you. read the post again, so you understand what we’re actually talking about..

  • BrendtWayneWaters

    My reading comprehension is just fine. But per you request, I read the article again. And I realize that I forgot the word “narcissistic” before “political whore”.

    Otherwise my point remains the same. Stating/implying that FoF under Dobson’s reign was a hyperbolic knee-jerk political shill is about as newsworthy as telling us that Barry Bonds used steroids.  And showing that they were wrong is about as surprising as getting wet when I jump in the ocean.
    I am hard pressed to think of a bigger waste of time than to fisk a four-year-old document.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    The point is, people on the right like to make these kind of alarmist predictions because it gets them money and votes while failing to seriously address the problems facing their voters.

    Canadian right-wing politicians like to do a version of this vis-a-vis the NDP. They don’t quite achieve the bombast and sheer chutzpah their fellow travellers in the USA do, but they love pushing the hot-button of ZOMG MISMANAGEMENT as well as blatantly lying about what the NDP has done or will do in power.

    American right-wing groups just turn all this crap up to eleven and blare it out over all the loudspeakers they can find, and mix in apocalyptic religious language to boot.

  • BrendtWayneWaters

    I agree with everything you said. Well, technically, just out of ignorance, I can’t fully affirm the Canadian info, but given the few Canadians I know, I find it very believable that things are less bombastic up there. ;-)

    But if anything, your statements just bolster my point. There’s nothing new(sworthy) here. It’s just piling on (if I may use the American football term) four years after the referee blew the whistle.

  • enochiswatching

    shalom say tune to what is coming  be ready look up his name is yeshua

  • EllieMurasaki

    …Jews for Jesus, or just nonsense?


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